Miami-Interlochen Partnership

Dan Lewis Valerie Dillon Music Access Miami with Trey Devey

Thanks to the remarkable generosity of Dan Lewis and Valerie Dillon, Interlochen launched a partnership that allows young musicians in the Miami Music Project to attend Interlochen Arts Camp. After a competitive audition process, selected students receive full scholarships, transportation, and coverage for all costs associated with attending Interlochen Arts Camp. Since the program’s founding in 2018, over 250 Miami youth musicians have attended Interlochen. The program, known as Music Access Miami, also includes students from Young Musicians Unite and Guitars Over Guns.

Miami Music Project group photo 2018 900x600

Driven by a passion for deepening the music scene among Miami youth, Lewis and Dillon saw Interlochen’s summer experience as a way to build on the important work of music-based, creative youth development organizations in Miami. Interlochen’s President Trey Devey provided institutional commitment of personnel and resources to make the partnership possible. Thanks to the teamwork and leadership of dozens of music educators in Miami and at Interlochen, the partnership has thrived from the outset. 

Today, Music Access Miami continues to be transformational for both the students and the organizations involved. Student lives are enriched by the programs at Interlochen, which allow them to visit northwest lower Michigan, learn from outstanding faculty, and make connections with students from around the world while building their musicianship. The more diverse the Interlochen community is, the stronger Interlochen becomes through a shared and deep commitment to creating an inclusive learning environment where diverse perspectives are recognized, respected, and seen as a source of strength.  

Bobby Bush headshot

Thank you so much for giving me the amazing opportunity to be in the Interlochen Arts Camp. I have gained so much from Interlochen. Learning under the instructor Matthew Cochran has been so amazing—he has been teaching me so many things I would not have learned back in Miami.

Bobby, age 18

Upon returning home, participants in the program become role models for other students. Many qualify for high-level ensembles and spur an even greater interest in Interlochen in other students. 

Attending Interlochen Arts Camp is a sought-after experience. Participants in Music Access Miami showcase their success in both graduation and college placement rates. To date, 100% of program participants have successfully graduated from high school and gone on to college. These students stand out from their peers: the Miami Public School system has an 86% high school graduation rate and a 63% college placement rate overall. 

Inspired by the success of Music Access Miami, Interlochen has pursued similar partnerships in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, and other cities. Scholarship support from generous donors in those locations and elsewhere has shaped the lives of dozens more young artists. These students will take their experiences in the arts and put them to use in their personal and professional lives, strengthening communities and making an impact on others.

Increasing access to arts education and training across cultural and socioeconomic lines positively impacts the lives of Miami youth through music education and drives social change. The partnership with Interlochen continues to change lives and makes both Interlochen and Miami better places.

Dan Lewis and Valerie Dillon

Miami-Interlochen Partnership Goals

Achieve equitable systematic improvement

Improve students’ school grades, attendance, and social, emotional, and physical well-being

Mobilize students’ voices on important issues through creative expression in organizing, engagement, journalism, and the use of media

Reduce the gap between the current state of arts education in most communities

Improve collaboration among arts non-profits, schools, and government towards an ambitious shared vision

Further engage support and increase support from thought and philanthropic leaders with aligned interests